Tucked away within the rolling hills of Long Island's Gold Coast, on the banks of Hempstead Harbor, Roslyn is a village which beckons both repose and unlimited diversions.
Named "Roslyn" in 1844 because of its striking resemblance to the landscape of Roslin, Scotland, the village has kept its allure alive with the care of its many historic structures and inviting parks, attracting residents and visitors for generations.
Only 23 miles away from New York, Roslyn has felt the influence of the city with its celebration of sophisticated cuisine, eclectic shops and a posh nightlife.
A village lined with 19th-century homes and sparkling ponds and enriched with an impressive local history and expanding culture, Roslyn has a little something for everyone.
Restaurants & Nightlife
If you're hungry for something different, Roslyn is your place to be, bursting with diverse cuisine from all around the globe. After a busy day of shopping on Main Street, take your pick from a variety of surrounding restaurants. In the mood for Mediterranean, Spanish, French? Roslyn has all that and more, from upscale to casual, depending on your mood.
Kotobuki, one of the most renowned Japanese restaurants on Long Island, is easily the most popular place to dine in Roslyn village. Proudly serving some of the freshest and most delicately prepared sushi at a surprisingly reasonable price, Kotobuki has given diners a most impressionable taste of Japan for over 25 years and counting. The most popular entrée, and the most "bang for your buck," is unanimously the sushi and sashmi Platter for the option of either one, two or three people. Generously spread with thick cuts of sashimi, Nigiri sushi, three to four sushi rolls, kani salad and the signature salmon carpaccio (decadent chunks of salmon charred in a spicy dry rub, rare on the inside, and drizzled with a tease of spicy mayo), this platter surely satisfies even the meanest sushi craving. Diners be warned: Kotobuki takes no reservations, so expect to wait on a Saturday night. Kotobuki's contemporary-style bar does brandish quite an impressive Saki list to grab your attention, so have a drink, and prepare yourself for an unforgettable meal.
For a more tranquil dining experience with some of the most picturesque views that Roslyn has to offer, look no further than Thyme, a contemporary American restaurant serving flavorful dishes inspired by the seasons. Perfectly situated between Roslyn's iconic clock tower and a section of the Roslyn Duck Pond, Thyme provides a remarkably visual experience. The establishment's weekend brunch remains a favorite, offering traditional fare with a creative twist, such as the cold poached salmon fillet or scrumptious twice baked goat cheese soufflé with Fuji apples, candied walnuts and cranberries, all coated in a sweet cider vinaigrette. They have a prix fixe dinner menu too, available daily, ever changing with the seasons and pleasing your budget.
Roslyn's nightlife, though not as rowdy as it had been in former years, has become, as a whole, more refined and just a little more subdued but not any less enjoyable. Many restaurants house stylish bars to satisfy not only your palette, but that craving you've had all week for a pomegranate martini. And don't be fooled; there still are spots where you can get a little wild.
When it's time to party, head on over to the Chalet Restaurant and Lounge, the pulse of Roslyn's nightlife. Located in a stone, Gothic-style building from the early 1800s, the Chalet adorns itself in both old world charm and modern flair within its three looming stories. The first floor welcomes you to the cozy main bar, reminiscent of a beloved Irish pub with its bulky stone walls, exposed wooden beams and dimly lit quarters. Climb up the steps to the second floor lounge to experience the 21st century. With a red interior, glass tables and leather couches, this lounge exudes New York chic. The third floor houses a private room that can be reserved in advance for any occasion. The menu, simple but well-rounded, presents classic pub fare, such as slider burgers, and more upscale cuisine, including the grilled rib eye with steak fries. With a live DJ every Thursday through Sunday, this place can get busy and boisterous, so save some time for dancing, and go mingle.
History & Culture
Roslyn is a village highly esteemed for its history. Take a walk along East Broadway, and admire its beautifully restored Greek revivals and Federal-style homes, each of them protected and preserved by the Roslyn Landmark Society.
Founded in 1643, Roslyn, originally known as the village of Hempstead Harbor, established its first industry in the opening of a paper mill in 1773 by Hendrick Onderdonk. Onderdonk, the most prosperous resident in Roslyn, entertained none other than George Washington in his home during Washington's five-day tour of Long Island after the Revolutionary War. The house exists today as Hendrick's Tavern, a popular restaurant.
By the mid-19th century, Roslyn became a well-established village with many shops and businesses. Today, you can take a self-guided tour of the village by picking up the book, "Roslyn Then and Now" by Roy W. Moger, available at the local library.
A stone's throw away from the Long Island Expressway, Roslyn is conveniently located for commuters and quite simple to get around by various modes of transportation. For an afternoon around the village, consider walking, as most shops and restaurants are in close proximity of each other, and traffic can get busy on the weekends. A small municipal lot in the village offers daytime parking, and metered parking is provided alongside Main Street (with complimentary parking during the holiday season). The Long Island Railroad Station, located just outside of the village, provides ample parking and a quick trip to Penn Station. Taxi services are a phone call away, and NICE, Nassau County's public bus system, is available at multiple stops around Roslyn, so getting around this village is hardly a problem.
Roslyn's close proximity to the city, its impressive homes and one of the highest-ranked high schools in New York State make this village a coveted place to live, and in turn, a more expensive one. The cost of living in Roslyn comes in 48 percent higher than the national average, and it shows in its real estate. Most of Roslyn's residents are over the age of 40 and homeowners with an average household income of $174,509. Those who choose to rent should expect to pay a median monthly rate of $2,000 for a one-bedroom apartment. On average, Roslyn's gas prices stand 11 percent higher than the national average.
Shopping in Roslyn could be an all-day affair, as its Main Street is snugly lined with unique shops, such as Knit and The Music Zoo, keeping your eyes and your feet wandering.
For the knitter in your life, Knit sells an exemplary array of yarns for you to choose from, with friendly staff to assist you with any questions you may have. Tables are laid out around the shop, inviting you to knit there should you desire any help or just some company. The Music Zoo, Roslyn's local guitar store, sells everything from Fender to Gibson and much more. The store even ships items straight to your door.
Grocery shopping in Roslyn is sparse, the nearest major supermarket being Waldbaums in the neighboring hamlet of Albertson. If you're willing to spend a little more money, nearby Holiday Farms in Roslyn Heights, is a full-service specialty grocery store, locally owned and operated. It's been around since the 1950s and is a local favorite.
Arguably the focal point of Roslyn, Gerry Pond Park sits in the heart of the village and is home to Roslyn's Duck Pond. Gerry Pond Park seems straight out of a Courier and Ives print, its backdrop being the many historic structures encompassing the village and its endless rolling hills. The park harbors a handful of notable buildings, one being the historic Papermill (reconstructed in 1915), the Bryant Library, as well as the 19th-century Valentine House. The gazebo on the property often showcases summer concerts, and the sloping landscape beckons sleigh riding in the snowier months. Patrons of the library are often seen perusing through a book on one of the park's benches overlooking the pond, and artists can be seen immortalizing the scenery on canvas and film.